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DHH kicks off Own Your Own Health Challenge

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospital wants you to take an active role in your own health.

DHH's Bureau of Minority Health Access and Promotions and the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports commence the Own Your Own Health Challenge on Monday, Jan. 25.

OYOH is a comprehensive health program designed to empower Louisianans to become active participants in their own health and health care through healthy eating and activity and an overall healthy lifestyle.

The OYOH 3-Month Wellness Challenge, which runs from January 25 - April 25, motivates participants to work individually or as a team to implement small changes that lead to living a healthier lifestyle.

The challenge includes smaller fitness challenges such as counting steps.

DHH Secretary Dr. Rebekah E. Gee said, “The OYOH challenge is an incredible tool that can help bridge the gap of the health disparities faced by our state’s residents.”

Gee added, “By encouraging Louisianans to take wellness into their own hands, the challenge continues to motivate all participants to strive toward a healthier lifestyle.”

Since 1993, the Louisiana Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports has partnered with the Miss Louisiana Organization to encourage Louisianans to lead healthy active lifestyles.

This year, Miss Louisiana contestants will compete to see who can sign up the most members and accumulate the most miles for an OYOH steps challenge. Other competitions will include churches and cities competing amongst themselves.

Since its inception, the OYOH program has had over 100,000 participants and continues to grow through partnerships with statewide and regional partners.

The website offers tips on navigating the health care system, healthy meal plans and additional resources.

Director of the Bureau of Minority Health Access Rudy Macklin said, “OYOH has the potential to make a huge impact on the health of our state by encouraging Louisianans to take control and live healthier lives.”

Macklin added, “We couldn’t do this without the active support of our partners who invest every day in the health of their communities.”

The program’s partners play a critical part helping people to take responsibility for their own health. Some of our new partners include Amerigroup; I AM Wellness Solutions; NM2C, LLC; Crescent City WIC; and Directors for Health Promotion Education.

OYOH continues to partner with Pennington Biomedical Research Center; March of Dimes, Foundation for the MidSouth; Louisiana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; Growing Up Fit, LLC; Southeast Louisiana Area Health Education Centers; the Louisiana Head Start State Collaboration Project; Louisiana Center for Health Equity; First Responders Worksite Wellness and Mental Health; and numerous faith-based communities and schools statewide.

While OYOH is geared toward minorities, all Louisiana residents are encouraged to participate.

African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders may be more likely to suffer from obesity and the chronic diseases that accompany it, such as diabetes and cardiac issues.

To register for the challenge or for more information on the program, visit the OYOH website at www.oyohla.com, or call (225) 342-4886. Registration is open to the public.

Incentives for participation in a challenge include spa packages, New Orleans Pelicans tickets, workout passes, gift cards and Fit Bits.

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